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Agriculture and estates

Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

In addition to advising on land disposals and acquisitions, Hewitsons’ agricultural team leverages its real estate capabilities to advise on planning and environmental issues. Gareth Williams heads the team, which acts for Merton College, the Homes and Communities Agency, and the Castle Ashby Estate.

Langleys Solicitors LLP advised the trustees of the RG Simpson Will Trust on the proposed sale of a farmhouse and land. The practice, which acts for both landlords and tenants on matters related to mineral extractions, potash mining and renewable energy, is led by Andrew Fearn and includes David Wood.

In a recent highlight, Roythornes Solicitors acted for an investor on £14m-worth of agricultural land acquisitions. The ‘efficient and knowledgeable’ team includes Alan Plummer, Julie Robinson (who specialises in share farming, contract farming and seasonal cropping agreements) and Vember Mortlock.

Wilkin Chapman LLP is noted for its expertise in rural issues, which covers agricultural land acquisitions and disposals, tenancy matters, bespoke contract farming arrangements, and land registrations. The practice, which is led by Lincoln-based Catherine Harris, is on the National Farmers Union’s legal panel.

Arnold Thomson’s ‘professional and extremely knowledgeable’ team is noted for its expertise in the renewable energy sector. Mike Thomson and Matt Hawkins are recommended.

Browne Jacobson LLP benefits from its full-service approach, which covers advice on matters related to tax planning and succession rights, among others. The team is jointly headed by Rob Wofinden, William Colacicchi, and Richard Barlow.

Paul Thompson heads Freeths’ team, specialising in agricultural matters related to tax and estate planning.

Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

At Browne Jacobson LLP, William Colacicchi routinely acts in charity mergers and provides advice on governance and constitutional review issues. Clients include the Wyggeston’s Hospital, the Baron Davenport’s Charity, and the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Nottingham, Hallam, Shrewsbury, Leeds and Middlesbrough.

Freeths acts for a range of charities and non-profit organisations including Headway UK, the Royal Air Forces and the League of Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital. Senior associate Robert Nieri is noted for his dispute resolution and commercial law expertise.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘approachable and practical’ practice handles a wide range of matters including employment, property, corporate and financing, for clients including the National Space Centre and the Congregational Federation. Practice head James Coningsby has a particular focus advising charities on property matters.

Geldards LLP’s ‘excellent and thorough’ practice routinely acts on community asset transfers, charity restructuring and group formations, mergers and takeovers. Stephen Marshall is the key contact in the Derby office. Kishanie Sivanesan left the firm to work as an independent charity lawyer in the voluntary sector. Cardiff-based Giselle Davies heads the practice nationally.

Hewitsons’ practice acts for clients including the United Church Schools Trust, Riders for Health, the United Learning Trust and Brain Tumour Research, on a wide range of property, construction, employment and commercial matters. Chris Knight and Clare Colacicchi are the key contacts.

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, Mark Dunkley is noted for his experience advising charitable trustees and directors of not-for-profit organisations on their establishment and maintenance.

Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Freeths’ team is led by Mark Keeley, who is a qualified commercial mediator and has been appointed by the court on several occasions to serve as an independent replacement trustee and administrator in several contested estates. Rachel Gaffney is also recommended.

Hewitsons’ contentious trusts and probate team covers a wide spectrum of matters, including claims for reasonable financial provision, contested wills, Variation of Trusts Act applications, and Court of Protection work. Cambridge-based Lucinda Brown heads the practice

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s Kevin Modiri heads the ‘well-organised and highly efficient’ team, and is praised for his ‘impressive degree of skill and abilities’. Noel McNicholas is also recommended.

Andrew Wilkinson heads Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice, which recently gained Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home and World Horse Welfare as new clients. Wilkinson is noted for his experience acting on behalf of minors in complex Inheritance Act claims.

Gateley Plc’s ‘excellent’ team was instructed on several probate and Inheritance Act claims. Chris Greenwell and Claire Herbert are recommended.

Lindsey Atterbury leads the team at Howes Percival LLP, which was bolstered by the arrival of Sharon Eyre from Bretherton Law.

Roythornes Solicitors’ team has particular strength acting in contentious trust and probate matters related to agricultural land and estates. Tim Russ is the key figure.

Highlights for Smith Partnership included acting in a series of probate and Court of Protection litigation mandates. Simon Richardson heads the practice.


Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Leading individuals

In addition to advising on pre-and-post-nuptial deeds, divorces and dissolutions of civil partnership, Cartwright King has particular expertise in children disputes and fields a dedicated childcare team led by Chet Desai. Other key practitioners include Wayne Hollingsworth, Hugh Young and Adrian Rose. Fiona Lazenby left to join Knights Professional Services Limited.

Freeths has a ‘very highly regarded family law team’, which includes Judith Speed and Diana Copestake, who are ‘incredibly experienced’ and ‘a massive asset’. In addition to handling high-value prenuptial agreements (often with an international element) and financial remedy applications, the practice also has particular expertise in pensions issues.

John Hooper & Co’s ‘high-calibre team’ provides advice that is ‘excellent and always insightful’. It regularly acts for clients in divorces and financial disputes between spouses and cohabitees, and is also experienced in Children Act cases. John Hooper and Timothy Quincey are recommended.

Langleys Solicitors LLP’s practice handles mediation and collaborative law issues, as well as divorces involving high-net-worth individuals and often with an international element. Emma Lawler has particular strength in divorce cases, mediation and private law children disputes. John Conlon, who heads the firm’s children law practice, is also recommended.

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, Andrew Breakwell continues to act in the complex cross-border case Chai v Peng, and on a long-running High Court case involving assets in excess of £50m. Associate Sonia Bachu is also recommended.

Smith Partnership’s ‘exceptional’ team attracts praise for its ‘comprehensive and impressive advice in all aspects of family law’. Key figures include partners Muctar Johal, Peter Dadswell and Ruth Jones, and ‘highly professional, diligent, and tenacious’ associate Bina Modi.

Turner Nicholson was established in January 2016 by highly regarded family law specialists Brigid Turner and John Nicholson. Turner has extensive experience in high-value, multi-jurisdictional divorce cases.

Lisa Boileau heads Wilkin Chapman LLP’s family team, which covers all aspects of family law and has particular strength advising clients from an agricultural and armed forces background.

Flint Bishop LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable, experienced and exceptionally customer-focused’ team is headed by Kirpal Bidmead, who is noted for her expertise in children cases and mandates involving complex financial issues.

Howes Percival LLP’s family team works closely with the firm’s Leicester, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Norwich offices. It routinely acts for high-profile individuals on family issues in connection with their property and business interests. Jane Cowley is the key contact.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘well-established, highly regarded’ team is led by Jayne Chilvers, who specialises in ancillary relief mandates for high-net-worth individuals. Victor Collins and Melanie Bridgen are also recommended.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors’ key practitioners are Paul Cobb – an expert in complex matters involving businesses, taxation, trusts and pensions – and Ann-Marie Bowman, who has extensive experience advising on public children law cases.

At Roythornes Solicitors, practice head Nick Ingrey is noted for his track record in divorce cases related to the division of agricultural assets.

Swati Somaiya remains the key contact at Spearing Waite LLP’s family team, routinely acting for high-net-worth clients in connection with disputes involving children, civil partnerships and domestic violence.

Banner Jones Solicitors’ ‘excellent and supportive’ team is headed by Toby Netting and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Helena Downing, who is praised for her ‘strong advocacy skills and sensible pragmatic approach’.

Geldards LLP’s family practice is lauded for its ‘efficient, accurate, and client-focused advice’. Key figures include Claire Dean, who ‘will go the extra mile for her clients’, and Fiona Apthorpe, who has key strength in cases involving children.

Sally Robinson heads Wilson Browne Solicitors’ ‘organised and efficient team, which inspires trust and confidence’. Edward Rawlins and Helen York are also recommended.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Personal tax, trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘technically strong’ team provides advice on succession issues for business owners, acts on the administration of large estates, and assists with offshore and onshore trusts and tax planning issues. Practice head William Colacicchi is praised for his ‘in-depth knowledge of estate matters and business property relief planning’. Also recommended are the ‘highly knowledgeable and qualifiedWenna Thompson and Lucy Worwood.

Paul Thompson heads the team at Freeths, which is noted for its work in relation to trust administration and estate planning and probate. Also recommended are Court of Protection experts Sue Miles and Natasha Molloy.

Hewitsons’ ‘highly professional’ practice is led by Clare Colacicchi, who is praised for her ‘integrity and knowledge’. The team is particularly active in inheritance tax planning issues, trust administrations and reorganisations, and the administration of complex estates. Catherine Ball is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s Richard Grosberg heads the ‘extremely efficient, very knowledgeable and highly experienced’ team, which routinely advises high-net-worth clients on inheritance tax planning solutions.

Roythornes Solicitors’ ‘proactive and excellent’ team has particular knowledge advising agribusinesses and landowners. Elizabeth Young heads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of Sarah Banner from Shoosmiths LLP. Jarred Wright is also recommended.

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, practice head Mark Dunkley and Stephen Woolfe have extensive experience advising high-net-worth individuals, executors and trustees on the administration of trusts and landed estates. Woolfe is advising the executors of Gerta Silberberg on the administration of the estate, which has involved tracing stolen art owned by the father-in-law of the deceased and which was seized during the Second World War.

Actons’ team is led by Mandy Kelly, who routinely advises high-net-worth individuals on tax and inheritance matters. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Christina Yardley is also recommended.

Flint Bishop LLP’s team continues to grow its track record on complex probate issues for foreign-domiciled clients and UK-domiciled clients with foreign assets. Claire Rudkin heads the practice, which is acting in the administration of an estate worth in excess of £10m.

Clients rate Geldards LLP’s team for its ‘professional and efficient approach’, and for its senior-level expertise in the administration of cross-border estates. Erica Thomson heads the team. Grace Steele left the firm to join Ellis-Fermor & Negus.

Langleys Solicitors LLP handles the full range of private client matters, including succession planning and estate administration. Andrew Fearn and David Wood are recommended.

In June 2016, Rothera Dowson merged with Sharp Young & Pearce LLP, forming Rothera Sharp Solicitors. Highlights for Karen Hayward included handling several multimillion-pound estates, including one worth £3.5m and another worth £1.1m where the residuary beneficiary has signed a deed of variation to benefit charity. The team, which is headed by Jayne Smith, is also active in promoting the interests of elderly clients.

Howes Percival LLP is especially noted for its advice on succession planning and estate administration. Jane Cowley and Lindsey Atterbury are the names to note.

Shoosmiths LLP provides the full range of estate planning and administration advice to a range of clients including business owners, directors and retired individuals, and works closely with the firm’s corporate tax lawyers to assist with assets that may qualify for business tax reliefs. Trevor George is the key figure in the firm’s Northampton office.

Lisa-Jane Howes heads Wilkin Chapman LLP’s ‘professional and excellent’ team, which specialises in estate and tax planning matters with an agricultural element.

Rachel Hawkins and Vicki Pearce jointly lead the team at Wilson Browne Solicitors, which advises on the administration of estates, trusts and tax planning, and on lasting power of attorney and wills.

Spearing Waite LLP’s team stands out for its ‘excellent service and good value for money’. Luke Appleby joined Buckles Solicitors LLP in 2015. Marie Cooper and Alexandra Howard now lead the team.

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